Sahuaro junior Kyle Jividen missed the first two matches of the season while recovering from shoulder surgery; then he went 40-0.


When an athlete returns to game action after suffering a serious injury, it typically takes a lot of time before they can perform at their full potential.

Not for Sahuaro wrestler Kyle Jividen.

The junior wasted no time finding success after missing the first two matches of his season after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Jividen did not lose a single match on his way to a pin in the heavyweight championship of last week's Division II state meet in Prescott Valley. He finished the season 40-0.

"I really wanted to go undefeated; it was something I was striving to do," Jividen said. "I didn't think I was going to be able to do it at first because I had the surgery, but once I finally did it, I was the happiest I have ever been."

Here are three things to know about the heavyweight champ:

1. The injury: Jividen's shoulder problems began during his freshman year. They became serious, though, during spring football practice his sophomore year. While doing blocking drills in practice, Jividen felt his shoulder pop in a way he had never felt it before.

"It was one of the worst pains that I have ever felt," he said.

Jividen underwent surgery June 28 to repair a torn back labrum and rotator cuff. He returned to the mat Nov. 28 in a dual match against Catalina; in his first match, he pinned the Trojans' William Crandall in 1 minute.

"I was really excited to get back," Jividen said.

2. Influential grandfather: One of the most important figures in Jividen's wrestling career has been his grandfather, Larry Wiczynski. The former Catalina wrestler did not miss any of his grandson's matches this season.

Wiczynski was especially proud of Jividen when he won Salpointe Catholic's Diego Gadea Invitational and, of course, when Jividen won his state title in Prescott Valley on Friday night. Jividen said those moments brought tears to his grandfather's eyes.

"He got really into it," Jividen said. "The only reason I started wrestling was because of him."

3. On the gridiron: Jividen's second-favorite sport is football, which he has played since he was 8 years old.

Jividen, an offensive lineman, was unable to play last season because of the surgery. He is hoping to play football again as a senior.

The offensive lineman's favorite moment as a Cougar was a close game at powerhouse Cienega his sophomore season; his team lost 31-24.

"It was really close, I liked being in the rush on the final drive to score," Jividen said. "That thought has never left my mind.

"It's the most fun I have ever had on a football field."